Taping is an integral step in the drywalling process. It may look easy, but there’s more to it than you’d assume at first glance. To avoid making mistakes on the job, familiarize yourself with the most common blunders. Here are six of the biggest mistakes people make when taping drywall and what you should do instead.
Failing To Use the Right Tools
One of the biggest mistakes people make when taping drywall is using the incorrect tools—or no tools at all. There’s nothing wrong with taping manually, but keep in mind that manual taping is slow, strenuous work. If you want to achieve optimal results without breaking your back or wasting too much time, you may want to consider using an automatic taper instead. This tool is a bit of an investment, but the time and effort you’ll save by using it will translate into savings in the long run.
Using the wrong tools for the job will also inevitably lead to problems. You’ll need a few other tools for drywall installation, including a set of drywall knives (not putty knives) in various widths. Small knives measuring approximately 6 inches are great for getting rid of ridges and bumps. However, when spreading the final coat, you’ll want to use a wider knife (12 to 16 inches) for a smooth finish.
Starting in the Wrong Area
For the best outcome, you’ll want to start at the corners and work inward. The corners are the hardest to work on, especially if they’re being held in place using screws or nails. They also require more time to dry. Starting with the corners allows you to get the most difficult part of the process out of the way so that you can focus your full attention on the rest of the project.
Exerting Too Much Pressure
When applying your mud or compound, you should avoid using too much pressure, as this can shift or damage the tape. To avoid moving or tearing the tape, use controlled, gentle movements when taping.
Applying Excess Compound
Many new contractors make the mistake of doing one coat using an excessive amount of compound instead of doing multiple coats using a small amount of compound. Your first coat shouldn’t cover the tape completely. If you’ve covered the tape in one or two coats, you’re applying too much compound. Applying excess compound increases the likelihood of bulges and unevenness, which can compromise the appearance and durability of the outcome.
Using Thick Mud
The consistency of the mud also matters. Using thick mud will complicate the installation process. It can tear your tape and make it harder for you to achieve a smooth, even spread.
There are other drywalling mistakes to avoid—such as swiping vertically or downward, which increases the odds of ripping your tape—but the above summarizes the most serious mistakes to avoid.
If you’re looking for high-quality, ergonomic taping tools to ensure your next drywalling job goes right, we have all the tools a professional drywall installer could ever need at Timothy’s Toolbox. Come browse our inventory of automatic drywall taping tools from top brand TapeTech to find convenient tools for you and your crew at an affordable price.